Friday Free-For-All! #ProteinBalls #Ladybug #Querying

I say this on Mondays and then again on Fridays. Time sure does fly by! Happy Friday and the start of another weekend.

I began a weight loss adventure around the first of October and used a plan called Optavia. I wasn’t extremely overweight but needed to lose those stubborn ten pounds I gained when I broke my ribs in 2019. So, going in, I knew (or hoped) it would be a short journey. By Thanksgiving, I had lost thirteen pounds. Doing a happy dance all around the Thanksgiving table! Then came the hard part. Going back to eating regular food and keeping the weight off. By the way, Sally Cronin features posts on her blog frequently that deal with nutrition, and I’ve found them to be golden. One of the hardest things we’ll do while in these heavy-skinned bodies is to learn what each of ours needs and provide it. It’s almost like an entity cohabitating within another entity. 🙂

But I digress. One of the main factors of any weight loss plan is protein. For several years, I’ve been purchasing protein bars from a Dallas company, Fittastik. They are absolutely perfect, except that they are expensive. My solution? Try to make my own. Thus I began my experiment.

Here’s my first attempt.

While they looked and tasted good, sadly, I didn’t have enough of some key ingredients to get the protein numbers I wanted. After searching through the internet and making a trip to the store, this is my second attempt, where I actually wrote everything down and knew the two key numbers, calories, and protein.

I’m still not 100% happy with the protein content, so I will up the protein powder in the next batch I make and switch out dried cherries for dried dates. If any of you have a recipe you’d be willing to share, I’d be most grateful!


On a completely different subject, I had an unusual visit from a little ladybug. Two things about this that struck me as odd. First of all, we are in the dead of winter, and second, I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building. I first saw her on a lampshade. I carefully removed her and placed her on a plant. That evening, she was up on my ceiling fan. Me being me, I had to get out my animal signs books and look her up. Here’s what it said:

If a ladybug lands on you, make a wish. It will be granted. (She didn’t) Structure a time each day where you can pray or meditate in silence and solitude. (That I already do) Something you thought was lost will be making its way back into your life. (Okay) Mother Mary is with you to guide you and console you, no matter what your religious or spiritual orientation. (I love that!) You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others. (Yay!)

After seeing her on the ceiling fan, I haven’t had a sighting since. What are your thoughts? Do you pay attention when something out of the ordinary shows up?

This past Sunday, I got to enjoy an afternoon of music. It had been way too long, and I needed a fix, so I traveled to Mineral Wells, Texas, to listen to my good friend, Randy C. Moore and Jody Lee. It was SO much fun. Randy has a new song hitting the airwaves today, “Before Elvis.” It’s a true story song about his uncle who went to school in Memphis with Elvis. Take a listen and get ready to tap your toes. 🙂 Here’s a photo of me, Randy, and Jody.

L-R Randy C. Moore, Me, Jody Lee

On the writing front, I’ve pretty much hit a brick wall this week, but as things will do if you let them work themselves out, I now have a clearer idea of where I need to make some changes in my WIP and hope that gets me moving forward again.

I also did something this week I’ve never done before since I started down (or up) this writing path in 2013. I started querying agents for my completed manuscript, “A Beggar’s Bargain.” I don’t know what the result will be, but I felt compelled to try. Maybe that’s what the Angel card was all about on Monday. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

On the reading front, I’m currently doing a beta-read for another author and loving what I’m reading! Next up for me is from a new author for me, “Survival” by Lisa Harris. I’ll let you know.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you remember two things: 1. You are a powerful creator! 2. We are all in this together!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday Free For All – Something New

It’s Friday again! The weeks sure go by fast, don’t they? My daughter once said, “The days are long, but the weeks and months go fast.” I hope you’re ready for a wonderful weekend!

I told you about the red light therapy table in a previous post, and this week I tried something else new. Have you ever heard of Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a technique designed to help the body heal by immersing the body in a chamber with extremely cold temperatures. Benefits include increased energy, improved sleep, reduced inflammation and swelling, and can help speed up the body’s metabolism and help with weight loss. The temperature inside the chamber gets down to -160 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds brutal, doesn’t it? But you only stay inside the chamber for a max of three minutes. I started out at two minutes.

Here’s what the chamber I got into looks like.

Photo courtesy Revive Health and Beauty

I honestly had my doubts about this being anything other than utter torture, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was not only tolerable, but the after-effects were rejuvenating and stimulating! I plotted my next book while waiting for the sauna to open up. Will I do it again? Most definitely! I guess, if nothing else in life, I’ve been adventurous. That hasn’t always worked in my favor, but this time it did. I’d love to hear from all of you. Have you ever tried anything like this?

I’m going to be starting a new blogging series next week that I’m calling “Wednesday Words.” I don’t think I can fit it in every week because of time constraints but will post a couple of times a month. It will encompass any and everything related to words. So, I hope you’ll join me for some fun!

On the reading front, I finished John Howell’s latest, “The Last Drive,” and highly recommend it! “The Eternal Road” gave me a lot to ponder concerning the afterlife, and his new book carries that theme forward in an expansive way. By the way, they’re both free on Kindle Unlimited.

While deciding what to read next, I came across a new author to me, and her book sounded like a fun, lighthearted read, so I picked it up. I’ll be posting reviews later this month, and maybe it will appeal to you, too. When I set my Goodreads challenge for 2023, I gave myself some breathing room by setting it at 85 books for the year.

On the writing front, I started critiquing with a new partner this week, and I think it is going to be so beneficial. While I will continue to critique with my sister, it never hurts to have another set of eyes on my work. This brings me to a question.

We all know there are some hard and fast (sort of) writing rules. In writing romantic suspense, do you think the book must open with some immediate action or with an introduction to the characters and setting? As writers and readers, what do you prefer, or does it vary from story to story? I tend to prefer stories with a slow build to a climactic event, giving time to set the story and characters. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, related to the world of writing, if you are of the praying type or just believe in sending good vibes, our fellow author, friend, and Story Empire contributor, Staci Troilo, lost her mother this week. It is a hugely devastating loss, and I’d love it if you’d join us in sending loving thoughts to the family.

That’s enough rambling from me for one day. I hope you all have a great weekend, and thank you for visiting!

Friday Free-For-All #Influences #Healing #NewYear

Welcome to the first REAL Friday Free-For-All of 2023!

How has your year started off so far? For me, it felt good to get back into some sort of routine after all the holiday disruptions. Don’t get me wrong. I loved all the holiday activities and spending so much time with my daughters and grandchildren.

Now, it’s back to the real world.

I had one more surgery during the first week of January to remove another squamous skin cancer from my face. This week, they removed the stitches, and now it’s on to full-force healing mode. I am a big believer in all sorts of homeopathic and natural remedies. To help jumpstart the healing, I made a concoction of Colloidal Silver, Frankincense essential oil, Helichrysum essential oil, and Vitamin C Serum. Then before I apply that, I put a layer of aloe vera. I have several aloe vera plants around my house, and the juice inside the leaves is so good for the skin. This is my biggest plant. It’s given me lots of babies over the years. My granddaughters call it my octopus plant. It seriously needs a much larger pot.

After only two days, I already see a big improvement.

Now, on to writing in 2023. I finished “A Beggar’s Bargain” before the end of 2022. Of course, it’s a first draft, and I will let it sit for a while before I read back through it.

I’ve started on a new novella that will be part of a collaborative effort, which we will be talking more about in the coming weeks and months. So far, it’s going slow. And this brings me to a question for all writers. How much do you let others influence your writing? Are you a part of a critique group? If so, how does your group work? Do you meet in person or critique online?

Created in Canva

I personally feel that being a part of a critique group, or having a critique partner, is invaluable. Having a second set of eyes on your work can bring about new ideas you may not have thought of, or they can spot plot holes you may have missed. When we write, we see the scene in our heads, but sometimes those pictures don’t quite make the transfer from visual to written words.

That being said, how much do you let those who critique your work influence it? I’m curious. I take to heart any and all critiques for my stories. Maybe it’s my writer insecurity, but I’m always open to other ideas or different ways to put my stories together.

My main goal is to create the best, most engaging story I am capable of. I’m sure your goal is the same.

While on the subject of writing, my friend and Story Empire colleague, Joan Hall, has a new collection of short stories that releases today! So, congratulations to Joan! You’ll be hearing lots more about this new book over the next few weeks, but here’s a link if you want to grab your copy!

PURCHASE LINK

In the spiritual part of my life, I have chosen my word for 2023 and placed affirmations where I will see them daily. My word is Abundance. Here is one of the affirmations I have taped to my mirror.

Do you choose a word at the beginning of the year or feel a certain theme for the year? Another thing I do on New Year’s Eve each and every year is pull twelve Tarot cards, one for each month. It’s always interesting to look back and see how accurate they are. My card for January is the Three of Swords. Not a rosy card, as it indicates a deep hurt or sorrow. But I have faith in the process and know that all of life is not roses. There are also thorns.

We are spiritual beings residing within physical bodies. It takes a lot of effort and coordination to keep everything in balance. But we are not alone. We have help from beyond this dimension of time and space. At least, that is my belief.

Have a fabulous weekend and do something today that yourself will thank you for tomorrow!

Friday Free-For-All – Holiday Wrap-up – Video Game

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday celebration! I enjoyed spending time with my family. We started our holiday celebration at the Dallas Zoo lights, then extended it to a trip to the Gaylord Texan for the Cirque Celebration show. Wow! That was totally amazing. This is all of us (except for the son-in-law).

And now we are marching toward a brand new year. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions and haven’t in a very long time. Instead, I choose a word that will resonate throughout the year. For 2022, my word was “Believe.” We’ll see what 2023 brings. I think I know because it keeps popping up everywhere but waiting to make sure.

I’ve enjoyed my blogging and social media break. I know I’ve missed some of your wonderful blogs, but this is a gift I have to give myself now and then to avoid burnout.

2022 has been an interesting year. I released two novels through Wild Rose Press, and they have been well-received with a good amount of 4 and 5-star review ratings.

PURCHASE LINK

I am SO grateful to the readers and reviewers. Often, writers say they write for themselves, but at the end of the day, we are lying if we don’t acknowledge that we want others to read and enjoy our work.

I have finished the first draft of “A Beggar’s Bargain.” My goal was to finish it by the end of 2022. I don’t know what I want to do with it yet, but I don’t think I’ll be submitting it to Wild Rose Press. The story is about hard times, forced circumstances, rebuilding, and surviving in 1947. I originally thought this would be a standalone novel, but now I have an idea for a second story in the same setting.

I’m still working on the logline for “A Beggar’s Bargain,” but this is what I have so far: Desperate to save the ancestral farm, Layken Martin bargains for a wife he’s never met and a future unimagined.

This story is so different from anything I’ve written so far, and creating it was fun. The biggest challenge was staying true to the time period and the setting of rural Missouri.

A title for this new series that keeps coming around to me is The Bargainer’s Series. We’ll see if that sticks.

On a very different subject, the video game adapted from Ghostly Interference is now live on Chapter Interactive Games.

As you can see, they changed the title. But they also changed the entire storyline. If you’ve read Ghostly Interference, you know that Jag Peters is a computer geek, and Rena Jett works as a waitress in a diner. In the game, they have Rena as a singer auditioning for a position in a rock band where Jag is the lead guitar player. Uh, not even close to my story. But oh well, it’s out there, and who knows. It may lead to book sales, but I really kinda doubt it. This is totally new and uncharted territory for me.

I wrapped up my Book Marketing Series at Story Empire. If you missed my wrap-up, you can find it here. I’ll be heading in a totally new direction for posts in 2023, exploring different ways to include metaphysical things in writing. I’m looking forward to this as it encompasses two of my life’s passions. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, you are missing out on a wonderful resource for writers! You can subscribe here.

On another different and interesting note, I received a report from YouTube that I don’t recall ever seeing before. They called it 2022 In A Snapshot. I had a total of 629 views, 620 watch time minutes, 26 total likes, and 7 new subscribers. The top viewed videos were: Picasso or Picture Jasper‌

Saddled Hearts Book Trailer

Hundred Miles of River – Rick Sikes

I will be selecting my Top Ten Best Reads for 2022 soon. Choosing just ten will be difficult and the most challenging by far, as I’ve read 95 books, and SO many of them were fabulous. However, I’ll give it my best shot. That will be coming in the first week of January. If you missed my Top Ten for 2021, here it is:

I’m toying with the idea of changing up my Monday Motivation posts. But don’t know yet what I want to do differently. I am waiting for the Universe to nudge me in the right direction. There will be no post this Monday, January 2nd, as I am still in holiday mode.

I look forward to promoting other authors and their books throughout the year ahead. That’s always a joy! So, if you have a new book releasing, I’m always happy to open my blog up to you for promotion.

As we close out 2022, let us reflect on the miracles that have happened for each of us. It’s so easy to focus on what went wrong when a slight shift in what we lend our energy to can create a whole new perspective—one that will lift us and bring a bit of peace.

Here’s wishing you a healthy, prosperous New Year ahead!!

Friday Free For All!

Happy Friday, y’all!! this will most likely be my last Friday post for a while. The grandkids get out of school next Thursday, and my days will be filled with taking care of them.

I saw this on Facebook and thought it was worth sharing.

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty fed up with others trying to force their opinions on me. We are all individuals, and each has the right to see and feel however we do about any given subject. That’s not to say we can’t change our minds, but if you are like me, I want it to be my choice, not because someone forced me.

Just a little something to keep in mind.

The holiday season is here. I still have a few gifts to buy and to create, but I’m getting there. It may sound sad, but since I live alone and no one comes to my apartment, I no longer decorate for the holidays. However, I certainly do enjoy seeing them everywhere I go. This is the tree I get to enjoy daily at my youngest daughter’s house.

The same daughter had to undergo a tenuous surgery this week, and she is down for the count. I spent all day Monday with her at the hospital. The surgery lasted for a little over three hours. She is home and recovering, but it’s going to be a long road. She needs Mama’s help a lot right now, although she is much like me and fiercely independent. I don’t wait for her to ask. I do what I see that needs doing and anything to make things easier for her.

Folks, stay aware and alert this holiday season, as scammers are everywhere trying to take your money! I ordered some items through an ad I saw, and when they arrived, they were defective. I contacted the company (thank goodness there was a phone number listed) and asked how I could return them for a refund. They refused to accept a return. Instead, they offered me 70% of my money back, and I keep the items. What?? Yep. I had no choice. It was either accept the 70% or lose it all. My sister got taken with a scam, too. So, just be vigilant and keep an eye on your money. It’s a crazy world out there.

On a good note, I got to experience laying on a Red Light therapy table today. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t until recently, but I’m interested. Here’s what it looks like.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses low-wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinkles, scars, redness, and acne. It’s also touted to treat other medical conditions. NASA originally began experimenting with red light therapy on plant growth in space and then to help heal wounds in astronauts. Red light therapy is thought to work by acting on the “power plant” in your body’s cells called mitochondria. With more energy, other cells can do their work more efficiently, such as repairing skin, boosting new cell growth, and enhancing skin rejuvenation. More specifically, certain cells absorb light wavelengths and are stimulated to work.

So, we’ll see. It is said to also reduce inflammation in the body and even improve eyesight in some cases.

I’m always open to trying new holistic ways of staying healthy and feeling good. I’ll let you know how it goes.

On a different note, Goodreads tells me I am two books away from reaching my reading goal of 95 books for 2022. One thing I do know for sure—it is going to be extremely difficult to pick a top ten list for this year. I have read SO many great books that still linger with me long after I close them. But I will give it a good try. So that will be coming up in the next few weeks.

If you missed my Christmas Story at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog, I’d love for you to visit and read it. I wrote it in 2016 and revived it to share at Sally’s place. HANDS

If you aren’t following Sally’s blog, I highly recommend you do so while you are visiting. She is a generous supporter of all authors.

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of my newest book, Saddled Hearts, OR if you’re looking for a gift, here’s the link to take a look: https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

That’s it from me for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

This won’t be my last opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas, but I’m going to wish it anyway. It’s been an interesting year with lots of adventures. And it isn’t over yet!

Friday Free For All! #Dreams

Happy Friday! We’ve made another week. Today is the last stop on the Saddled Hearts blog tour, so I hope you will visit me at Erika Kind’s place.

Yesterday, myself and a couple of my Story Empire colleagues were talking about sleep patterns, then we got sidetracked talking about dreams.

What are dreams? Dr. Derup, a behavioral sleep medicine expert, says this, “Dreams are mental imagery or activity that occur when you sleep.” That’s pretty simple. But to me, they are so much more.

Freud thought dreams were repressed content, ideas, or themes. Jung’s idea of what dreams are is deeper and more objective since the archetypes that caused dreams were collective, universal, anatomical, or biological, and therefore objective and empirical. Jung thought dreams are something that you carry from your ancestors.

Hmm. Could be, I suppose.

To the Native American people, dreams were an essential conduit for communication with the supernatural world. I buy more into that theory than any other. The dreamcatcher originated with the Ojibwe tribe, and they believed it would trap bad dreams and let good dreams come through.

I’ve always been fascinated by the dream world and have dreamed ever since I can remember. They say everyone does, but not everyone remembers their dreams. And there are different types of dreams. Most often, our dreams are made up of the subconscious mind processing things from our day.

Then there are lucid dreams, where you are asleep but aware that you are dreaming. In Dan Antion‘s new books, The Dreamer’s Alliance Series, one of his characters has lucid dreams and even learns how to manipulate them for the outcome he wants.

I can’t say I’ve ever had that exact experience where I manipulated a dream, but I have definitely experienced being aware that I was dreaming. I have had dreams where I am flying low and close to the ground, but really fast, and when I have those dreams, I wake up feeling a tad bit dizzy.

But probably the most bizarre dream I’ve ever had was one where I dreamed I laid down on a bed and went to sleep. When I awoke, I was so disoriented and unsure if I was awake in my dream, or awake in my real world. I’ll never forget that. It was a very strange feeling.

I’ve had a dream interpretation book since the seventies, so it’s something I’ve always been fascinated with. You can tell by the photo the book is well-worn.

I’ve dreamt about loved ones who have passed on. Then, on the other hand, I’ve had visits from loved ones who have passed on, and there is a distinct difference between the two. When you have a visit, you know you’ve been with that person. Often, there will be a lingering fragrance or touch after you awake. When I experience visits, I often awake with tears on my cheeks.

Dream interpretation is as broad as the dreams themselves.

For example, here are some of the basic dream interpretations in my book:

To dream of wild animals is generally a good omen pertaining to business.

Dogs in dreams are a good omen and often represent friends.

To dream of being naked indicates a stroke of money luck.

By the same token, to dream of feces, symbolizes wealth.

Obstacle dreams are very common, where you are having to squeeze through tiny openings or climb narrow ladders, and those dreams indicate frustration about not reaching a goal in real life.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Do you have a recurring dream? One that you still think about regularly? My late husband had a recurring dream where he was living in the 1800s, wearing a coat and top hat, and he played upright bass. In real life, he never tried to play the bass. He often thought that dream might have been a glimpse at a past life. Who knows?

Let’s talk about dreams. Do you have one you’d like for me to look up in my trusty book?

Next week is Thanksgiving week in the U.S., and I will be taking a blogging break to spend time with family. I’ll try to visit your blogs as I can, but I won’t post anything more until after the holidays. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you and yours a wonderful time!

Friday Free For All! #Grandkids #Water

Happy Friday! We’ve made another week.

My daughter and son-in-law left on Wednesday morning for an anniversary vacation, so I have the two grandgirls and granddog for five days. Needless to say, it changes up my routine.

The girls have to be on the bus by 7 am, so an early morning bustle is happening that reminds me of when my girls were still in school. But so far, we’ve made the bus on time.

In addition to the kids and dog, they also have three toads they rescued from the pool skimmer basket. So, I’m feeding crickets to the toads. 🙂

My daughter says when they are out like that, it means they’re hungry. Who knew?

Rosie, the granddog, is so well-behaved. Except, she has resisted morning walks for some reason? She sits down in the street and refuses to get up until I let her go back home. She is such a pretty girl. She’s a BorderDoodle.

So, I walk alone. The neighborhood is great for walking and there is a Raptor Rescue Center and a lake on the walking path.

The parents will be back home Monday and I’ll return to my normal routine.

Meanwhile, I want to talk about water. Yes. Water. Do you have a favorite brand of bottled water you like to drink? At home, I have a water purifier, so am always refilling my water bottles to lessen the waste. But here, all they have is the Costco brand of bottled water. Call me spoiled, but I can tell the difference in the taste and don’t particularly care for it. That meant a trip to the store to pick up a case of water. This is my favorite brand:

There are other brands I like, but Ozarka is my go-to. Fiji, SmartWater and Aquafina all fit my taste. Am I crazy? Does it really make a difference what brand you purchase? My tastebuds say it doees. 🙂

My regular Monday post may either be a little late or modified as I won’t be at home with my cards and crystals. I will see how I can improvise.

The blog tour is still going on, and the scavenger hunt isn’t over. I’ve been surprised at the lack of participation in it. Remember there is a $25 gift card up for grabs. And just in time for Christmas. The details are here:https://jansikesblog.com/2022/11/10/saddled-hearts-blogtour-giveaway-scavengerhunt-wildrosepress-13/

That’s it for me. Have a fabulous weekendf!

Friday Free-For-All! #Mushrooms #Memory

Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy busy week, and the Saddled Hearts tour is still going on. I am overwhelmed and happy with the reviews that are rolling in for this new book. In fact, as a good friend likes to say, “I’m dancing on sunshine!” (Parris, if you see this, you know I’m talking about you.)

To start off today, I want to talk about mushrooms. No, not the magical kind, but the kind you put in omelets and such. I have a question for you. Do you peel your mushrooms before you use them?

I never did until a few years back when my best friend, Kay, and I went to Arkansas with another friend, Cactus Mike, to dig for crystals. You see Mike is a connoisseur of fine dining and he did some of the cooking while we are there. He was the first person I ever saw peel mushrooms. When I questioned him, he said, “Do you know where mushrooms grow?”

Well, yes I do. Oh yeah. A great reason to peel and wash them before using. Now, I never use a mushroom without first peeling it, then follow with a good rinsing.

What about you? Have you ever thought about it? Do you peel your mushrooms before using them?

Oh, and before you ask why Mike goes by Cactus Mike, he is the owner of Cactus Town, Texas and when Rick and I first met him many years ago, he was one of the largest distributors of cacti in the southwest. If you’re ever near San Angelo, Texas, drop by and visit Cactus Town. It’s pretty amazing.

And just for fun. I had to go back a few years to find a picture of the three of us. We were heading off to the Big Bend on that trip.

Now, I’m going to shift gears just a little. Yesterday, I was driving down the street and as per usual, had my radio on. This song came on. I had an emotional meltdown as I listened to it, and I’ll tell you why.

It would have been sometime early in 1971. Rick had a strong premonition that things were about to break bad. He’d taken me back to my sister’s house and dumped me. If you’ve read “Flowers and Stone,” you may remember this scene with Luke and Darlina.

I was broken, shattered, and unable to breathe. A girlfriend took pity on me and invited me to her apartment for drinks and to try and cheer me up. It backfired. The more I drank, the stronger the urge grew to go to where Rick was playing that night. Then we ingested something a little stronger than booze, and the feelings intensified to the point I told her if she didn’t take me to the nightclub, I would walk. So, she drove me over and dropped me off at the front door. Of course, the minute Rick saw me, he knew I was messed up and out of control. Long story short. He took me back to Brownwood with him that night, fed me hamburgers, and talked until I was no longer messed up. The next night he was playing back in Abilene, and we went alone in his car as opposed to riding in the band car. I will never forget it if I live to be over a hundred. We were driving down Sayles Boulevard, getting closer to my sister’s house where I knew he’d leave me again, and this song came on the radio. I lost it. All I wanted was to be together again, but all I could be was gone. It affected me much the same way yesterday. So, just thought I’d share that little soiree down memory lane.

Anyhoo. I hope everyone has a great weekend lined up. I plan to get some serious work done on my much-neglected WIP. And I’ll have some book reviews posted on Saturday. I don’t like to blog on the weekends, but with the tour going in, there isn’t much other time.

To everyone who has tagged along on the blog tour, purchased Saddled Hearts, or read and reviewed it, I say

Friday Free For All!

Today will be a little different than my regular Friday posts. Comments are closed as I am traveling south to Seguin, Texas for their annual Pecan Festival where I will set up with my books. It’s a five-hour drive, and I won’t have great internet access.

However, I am also at Story Empire today with another blog post on book marketing. I’d be honored if you’d hop over and take a look. Have you ever had any luck getting your books into a bookstore?

https://storyempire.com/2022/10/28/mktg-21-bookstores/

Secondly, I was a guest on the Fresh Ink Group podcast this past Wednesday, and we had so much fun. Beem Weeks and Stephen Geez are great hosts! We even played some of Rick’s music. I hope you will take a minute to listen to the replay!

Thirdly, I will be back next Friday with an interesting conundrum about mushrooms. 🙂

Friday Free-For-All!

I’m sure you can probably guess what I’m going to be talking about today. Yep. You’ve got it!

The Saddled Hearts blog tour started yesterday! This will be a lengthy tour, and I’m taking a deep breath as we launch into it. If you missed the kickoff, ride on over to Staci’s and take a look.

No, this post isn’t going to be all about the tour, I promise.

I had the honor and privilege of appearing on the Coffee, Tea, Friendlee and Me radio show on Wednesday this week, (book release day) and it was, as always, a fun opportunity. Friendlee Buffington is a wiry little man with more energy than a two-year-old. Could be the coffee he drinks. Or it could just be his makeup. Here’s a photo taken during the show.

Photo by Ginny Foley

I’m trying to figure out how to download the video from Facebook and edit it to just my part of the show. Another thing that makes this radio show unique is that it is streamed live from the lobby of the historic Texan Theater in downtown Greenville, Texas. I’ve only heard bits and pieces of the history, but it was constructed in the late 1800s and is a world-class theater where a variety of live shows take place.

Back to Friendlee (I have no idea what his real name is). The little man has one saying that he ends every show with, AND every time he bids you farewell. “Keepitn your boot,” he says. Yes, it’s always run together. I don’t know how old Friendlee is, but he’s no spring chicken. He also has a regular internet radio show. I share all of this to say I love meeting unique and passionate people. Their energy is contagious. It gives me a boost like a vitamin B12 shot!

On a totally different front, my granddaughter had her first orchestra concert. She chose the violin and has really taken to the instrument. She is eleven and in sixth grade.

This is her with the big goofy smile.

I always get a little emotional when I attend these kinds of events. Just seeing the beautiful faces of the children touches me. I always wonder what life has in store for them. They are certainly destined for some struggles as our world comes more unraveled daily.

I don’t want to get too heavy, but I’ve been catching an occasional “Ancient Aliens” show recently, and I am convinced more than ever we aren’t the first world to exist on this planet and we won’t be the last. I often think of the scripture about “this world and worlds to come.” We are here temporarily. It’s our duty to put our very best foot forward while we linger in this dimension, but always know it’s not permanent. That perspective helps keep me from getting too undone over struggles.

Anyhoo, moving on. Have a great weekend everyone. The blog tour will pick up again next week, but I will still have my regular Monday posts, and a book review post will be thrown into the mix. I’ve read some fabulous books this month!

And just for giggles, I’ll end by saying, “Keepitn your boot!”